European Union research has highlighted the continuing problem of inadequate IT security, with almost a third of European PCs being infected by a virus last year.
Figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, show that 31 per cent of European computer users were affected by malware in 2010, despite 84 per cent of them using security software, including anti-virus software and firewalls.
Infection rates were highest in countries such as Bulgaria – where 58 per cent of users suffered infections last year – and Malta (50 per cent).
Such widespread infections will be unsettling for IT chiefs, who need to be mindful of the threat posed to internal systems when dealing with third parties. Also, the threat from botnets, run by organised criminal gangs, is perpetuated through access to unsecured PCs.
The EU research also showed that around seven per cent of Britons suffered financial losses in the past year as a result of phishing or pharming attacks.
The survey of more than 200,000 EU citizens from 27 countries was conducted during the second quarter of 2010.